The energy crisis in the present day world has led us to the design of new energy efficient buildings. However the existing buildings consume a lot of conventional energy and minimizing them will help us to conserve them for future. Moreover it would help us to meet the Energy Efficiency standards.
The capital costs for this conversion would be very high, but lower energy bills over a long period of time would offset them and helps to achieve significant profits for the industry as well as the environment. Energy audit involves the systematic collection and analysis of energy data from a particular facility for implementing energy conservation measures.
An energy audit establishes both where and how energy is being used, and the potential for energy savings. It includes a walk-through survey, a review of energy using systems, analysis of energy use and the preparation of an energy budget, and provides a baseline from which energy consumption can be compared over time. An audit can be conducted by an employee of the organization who has appropriate expertise, or by a specialist energy-auditing firm. An energy audit report also includes recommendations for actions, which will result in energy and cost savings. It should also indicate the costs and savings for each recommended action, and a priority order for implementation.
As per the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, Energy Audit is defined as “the verification, monitoring and analysis of use of energy including submission of technical report containing recommendations for improving energy efficiency with cost benefit analysis and an action plan to reduce energy consumption”.
TYPES OF ENERGY AUDITS
Energy auditing of buildings can range from a short walk-through of the facility to a detailed computer simulation of the analysis. Generally, there are four types of energy audits which are as described below.
1. Walk-Through Audit
This consists of a short onsite visit for the inspection of the facility. By this, simple inexpensive actions can be taken for immediate energy savings. This consists of repairing broken glass windows, lowering the preset temperatures of HVAC systems according to utility, adjusting the boiler-air fuel ratios. This is usually a maintenance procedure done periodically to improve the efficiency of energy systems.
2. Utility Cost Analysis
In this type of audit we carefully analyze the operating cost of the facility. The data obtained over a long period of time energy bills, peak demands, energy use patterns, weather effects are identified. This helps us to establish a relation between cost and utility. Usually this step includes,
Checking utility charges and ensuring that no mistakes are made in calculating the monthly energy bills. This is important because the energy rate structures for industrial facilities can be quite complex.
Determination of the dominant charges in the energy bills is another part of this analysis. Peak demands take-up a major share of the power consumption cost. Thus for shaving off the peak demand supplemental energy measures can be recommended.
Checking whether the facility can benefit from alternative fuels which are more cost effective than the prevailing ones. This will make significant reductions in energy bills. Moreover, the energy auditor can determine whether or not the facility is prime for energy retrofit projects by analyzing the utility data. Indeed, the energy use of the facility can be normalized and compared to indices (for instance, the energy use per unit of floor area for commercial buildings — or per unit of a product for industrial facilities).